To describe Where The Dogs Divide Her is like trying to describe the ocean without using the words ‘water’ or ‘blue.’ It’s an experimental “horror film” that taps into the main character’s psyche, however, I feel as though I am way off on this description so I think it’s best to let the official description take care of things. The movie is about a young man with no identity or memory but in order to find out about himself he has to look from within. In doing so, unfortunately, he uncovers a dark family secret that involves the death of his parents. Now, in order to rid himself of his demons he must come to terms with his crimes, channel lost souls and fulfill a promise he made in another lifetime. It seems like a very spiritual but messy story and that’s exactly how I felt as I was watching this, in fact… I didn’t see any of that in the actual film.
I will admit, though, the reason why I found myself disliking this movie is because I loathe experimental films for personal reasons. In cases where I don’t know who the director is or the writer, I tend to be less harsh with them because at least they have a story and their movie isn’t just a jumbled mess of images strung together. In Where The Dogs Divide Her’s case, I didn’t like it because it didn’t make sense despite having a description of the film. I felt like the film was laden with filters, sound effects and transitions that made the movie feel like a drama rather than a horror movie. Again, this is because I don’t like experimental films but there is a silver lining to this seemingly dark cloud.
The cinematography, as wild as it was at times, was beautiful and it really added to the film’s visual style. There were many different angles and close-ups of the character and the objects he touches to give the film this overall grainy, gritty look. I felt like I was looking inside a nightmare. Even some of the imagery and (what I assume) some iconography was a little disturbing yet memorable. I don’t think I could look at dolls the same way ever again, and not many experimental movies left an imprint in my brain. But perhaps the best visual piece I found was the scene showing the female singer dressed in a white gown with a gas mask over her head. It than shows her, covered in blood, playing around with the baby that was attached to the bottom mussel of the mask. I couldn’t help but feel like it was sort of a mockup of the brainwashed culture of the 50s, with Cronenberg style body horror.
I am not going to give this movie a bad rating because despite it’s jumbled visuals and overused special effects, it was shot, edited, scored and performed beautifully. This means that the director has a great understanding of how to make an effective movie and I would like to see more. I thought it was average but I am sure there are people out there that will love this movie and perhaps they will see something in it that I neglected. If you are a fan of either Eraserhead or The Brood, check this film out but if you are like me but still want to watch it, look for some amazing direction.